Arsenal have been linked heavily with Bruno Guimarães this month, but who is he, and what does he bring to the Gunners?
While Arsenal’s backline often gets blamed for the team’s serious lack of defensive quality, a lot of it comes down to how open and spineless their midfield has been in recent years. Of course, this aspect has improved a bit recently with new manager Mikel Arteta being able to revive Lucas Torreira a little bit, but the Gunners could still use a bit of quality in the middle of the park.
Their technical staff seems to think the same thing, as many reports suggest that Arsenal are interested in bringing Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimarães to the club this month.
Many Arsenal fans might be put off by the fact that Guimarães plays in the Brazilian division, but they must remember how much talent the Brazilian divisions have been churning out lately. Look no further than Arsenal’s own Gabriel Martinelli, who came from the Brazilian 4th division and made a huge impact for the Gunners in year 1.
Now, imagine what the player many consider to be the best midfield in Brazil could bring to a team like Arsenal.
Bruno Guimarães is 22 years old and has played for Brazilian Serie A club Athletico Paranaense for the last couple of seasons – rising up the ranks slowly but surely, turning into one of the very best players on the South American continent. The Rio-born Guimarães stands at exactly 6 feet, and plays more as a box-to-box midfielder than anything, although he is capable of playing multiple roles.
One of Bruno Guimarães’ best qualities is his long-range passing, which can be used to devastating effect on the counter-attack. It seems like he gets these passes on the money 19 times out of 20, and with the perfect weight on them as well. This is a strong quality to have in a midfielder, especially when your team possesses quick forwards who can damage the opponent in a flash, like Nicolas Pepe or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
As I mentioned, Guimarães is more of a box-to-box player, who has a high intensity to his game and can match the requirements of Mikel Arteta’s system. He is also accomplished on the defensive side of the ball, as his astute frame and long legs make him a difficult player to get past.
In short, Bruno Guimarães is an all-round midfield talent with immense qualities both on-and-off the ball – something Arsenal are missing. Xhaka, Ceballos, Ozil, and Guendouzi are excellent on the ball but not off of it, while Lucas Torreira is the opposite. Guimarães could help balance the Arsenal midfield for years to come, as he grows into his potential as a world-class footballer.